Letter to the Editor: Ethics in rural water supply companies


The problems we are encountering in this country did not begin in Washington DC. Unfortunately they began in the smallest of towns and communities across this country. If we could restore the ethics from the ground up, then the United States of America might be able to stop the cliff we are getting so close to falling off of.

The recent problems I have encountered with South Ellis County Water Supply Corporation represent the picture of what is wrong in this country.

First, I will state the actions that brought this about. The problem I encountered was that the water supply corporations are letting past due accounts accumulate into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Apparently the manager is either unqualified to deal with past due accounts or too lazy. Having an accounting background and working in the field for years there are many ways to handle past due balances and this IS NOT ONE. But if you or anyone buys property that is on one of these water supply corporation’s lines and there is a past due balance, they do not disclose that information until you have closed on this property regardless of title policy or title search.

The title search will indicate there are no outstanding balances or irregularities in regards to the property.

You then have the property in your name and go to this water supply corporation to change the water into your name. You are informed in a very threatening way that you will not have water unless and until you pay the past due balance or buy a new meter.

Realize that this past due balance is the previous owners and under privacy laws the details cannot be revealed to you. So they are telling you that under penalty of law they cannot release the information concerning this past due balance without breaking the law but you are responsible for paying it.

This will happen in a regular real estate transaction or a foreclosure. Even though the foreclosure proceeding takes place the water supply corporation disregards the foreclosed information.

There are at least 1671 (internet totals) water supply corporations (non-Profit) across the state of Texas. Within this number, numerous ones are conducting their business in this unethical and unprofessional fashion. The one that I have dealt with responds that their by-laws are legal. Being legal doesn’t necessarily make something right or ethical.

The customer service representative at TCEQ told me that this is a wide spread problem and he gets many complaints about it but he has no authority to fix it. He says legislation is the fix.

I have talked with numerous personnel in the offices of our state elected officials in Austin. They are not concerned that citizens across Texas that prefer to live in rural areas have no protection by the State of Texas with regards to these Water Supply Corporations.

I have been told our elected officials are too busy to investigate these water supply corporations.

If it were an election year the response might be different. But only if there were enough votes for them to spend their time caring that 1671 Water Supply Corporations across this state can do just about anything they want with something as necessary as WATER and no one cares except the people being threatened.

Rest assured next year 2012 there will be some editorials written so people understand that only when their votes are important do politicians take an interest.

This is just to inform any citizen in the state of Texas that intends to buy property in a rural setting; you will have to contend with unethical little mafias in small towns.

It is ashamed that America has gotten so corrupt that not only are you seeing blatant corruption and lies in Washington DC to Austin, Texas, it is within a few miles of our homes with people you see every day.

It is also sad that a newcomer is greeted in a small town with this kind of disregard.

What an impression these small towns and water corporations make on someone new in town. With this first impression, I can assure you that mistrust has taken root and will be very hard to dislodge.

To anyone that has the power to change things here in small town Texas, Austin Texas, or Washington DC, we have forgotten that how we treat others should be the way we want to be treated.

Right now it looks like if I can steal or cheat you without you stealing or cheating me then I will do it and call it legal.